Skills fund helped 15 000 students obtain skills - NSF

2015-10-28 21:41
Parliament (File, Dan Calderwood, News24)

Parliament (File, Dan Calderwood, News24)

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Cape Town - The National Skills Fund (NSF) awarded 15 000 bursaries to students focusing on what South Africa considered a scarce skill in the past financial year, Parliament heard on Wednesday.

The committee on Higher Education was told that the recipients for 2014/15 were part of a total of 62 617 people who received bursaries because they were going into fields in which qualified people are in short supply.

These include project managers, electricians, electrical engineers, mechanical engineers, software developers, fitter and turners, finance managers, welders, carpenters and joiners, automotive motor mechanics, civil engineers, manufacturing managers and personnel or human resources managers.

Fund CEO Mvuyisi Macikama said 52 211 of the overall recipients were black African, compared to 597 white students, 516 Indian, 3 745 not declared, 5 063 coloured, 292 "other" and 193 Asian. A total of 54% of the recipients were women.

Most beneficiaries were from Gauteng (15 980), followed by KwaZulu-Natal (11 516) and the Western Cape (10 128 ). The Northern Cape had 601 beneficiaries, Eastern Cape 5 045, Free State 2 541, Limpopo 8 668 and Mpumalanga 4 604 and North West 3 534.

The NSF forms part of the department of Higher Education, which has to find extra money after being party to an undertaking from government not to increase university fees for next year.

There are currently about one million university students in South Africa.

Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande earlier told the committee that funds from the NSF and the Sector Education Training Authority cannot be "a milking cow" or a war chest for the universities, as their own programmes were essential.

Read more on:    cape town  |  education  |  university fees  |  parliament 2015

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